OIC Hits Out at Iranian Regional ‘Interference’

Iran criticised by leaders of Muslim nations at Istanbul summit
Iran criticised by leaders of Muslim nations at Istanbul summit.

Istanbul, 10 Rajab 1437/16 April 2016 (MINA) – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on Friday that it deplored what it called Iran’s “interference” in the internal affairs of regional and member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Somalia and its “continued support for terrorism”.

A final communique from the two-day long Istanbul summit hit out at Iran – a member country of the organization, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Anadolu Agency.

The summit’s declaration published on the OIC’s website emphasized “cooperative relations between member countries and Iran” that would be based on “the principle of good-neighborliness, non-interference in their domestic affairs, respect for their independence and territorial sovereignty”.

The declaration calls for peaceful means to solve problems and refraining from the use or threat of force.

The Islamic body also mentioned attacks that targeted Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran and the Saudi consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad, calling it a “flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.

Also Read:  Turkey Ready to Help Flood-Hit Greece

On Jan. 3, Iranian protesters attacked and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad after Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners, including prominent Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

The cleric had allegedly led mass protests against the Saudi authorities in the kingdom’s eastern Qatif province before his arrest in July 2012.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January after protesters torched two of its diplomatic buildings.

In its final declaration, OIC also said it rejected “Iran’s inflammatory statements on the execution of judicial decisions against the perpetrators of terrorist crimes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

The communique was declared amid calls against the rising tide of sectarianism in the Islamic world.

Also Read:  Turkey: Annexation of West Bank is a Crime

The final declaration underscored “the need to shun the sectarian and denominational agenda” and emphasized on the importance of developing relations of good neighborliness among member states.

In the face of the refugee crisis, OIC members called on the international community and member states to support Syrian refugees and countries hosting these refugees.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of refugees have made short-but-perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and Western Europe in search for a better life.

Azerbaijan and Nothern Cyprus

Meanwhile, the final declaration showed support for Azerbaijan that clashed with Armenia in early April.

Also Read:  Arab FM Agree to Accept the Return of Syria to Arab League

OIC condemned Armenia’s “aggression” against Azerbaijan and called on the former to withdraw from the occupied Karabakh region.

Member states also established a contact group for the conflict within the organization at the foreign ministers’ level. Its first meeting was held during the Istanbul summit.

Karabakh was seized by ethnic Armenian separatists in the early 1990s before a peace deal in 1994. The enclave is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory.

In early April, fighting between Azerbaijani troops and ethnic Armenian forces on the borders of occupied Karabakh resulted in the deaths of more than 270 military personnel, according to Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry.

Additionally, OIC’s final declaration stated “firm support” for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and expressed its support for settlement negotiations on the island. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)